Magazine article Techniques

Why Middle School? Why Now?

Magazine article Techniques

Why Middle School? Why Now?

Article excerpt

OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (ACTE) HAS

Over the past year, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has developed a content strategy plan that includes four areas of focus:

* CTE administrators

* Education-employer connections

* Teacher education pipeline, and

* Middle school CTE/career development

This effort hinges on ACTE's commitment to develop content that supports our membership and the career and technical education (CTE) field on issues of national prominence. We culled our member surveys; considered the input from our Board of Directors; and looked at the national landscape and determined what issues--ultimately, these four--should be integrated as part of our current work.

With respect to the middle school topic, consider that research indicates we can identify middle-grades students who are at risk of high-school dropout. CTE advocates know that our programs support students and that high-quality CTE built on strong programs of study and career pathways are engaging students and are more likely to keep them in school. It is incumbent upon us, and education as a whole, to ensure all students have access to strong CTE. That includes career development options in the early grades.

ACTE initiated a number of activities in 2017 to support the middle school and career development focus. We partnered with Xello, formerly known as Career Cruising, to produce a whitepaper, "Career Exploration in Middle School: Setting Students on the Path to Success." The publication identifies research showing the need for, and provides information on the benefits of career exploration and ways to implement and improve school programs.

The number of middle school CTE programs are increasing and as such it is crucial to ensure students have knowledge about the breadth of existing career pathways available to them. …

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